The voice sounded familiar.
“Just don’t!” It whispered.
The message was familiar too.
“Don’t do what?” I had to ask.
Somewhat perplexed, it admitted, “I haven’t a clue, I just felt compelled to scold you. I suppose it’s force of habit.”
I recognized the voice. The timbre, the tone and especially that annoying nasal twang were all unmistakable. These were the auditory signatures of my guardian angel. To be more accurate, my ex-guardian angel. He retired two and a half years ago. Now he was back.
And that could not good.
“Am I in serious trouble?”
“No more than usual.”
“Then why the visit?”
He sighed a long sigh. “I wasn’t happy in heaven, so I got sent back.”
How could that be?
“Isn’t heaven supposed to be the perfect place where everyone is happy all the time?”
“The trouble is, heaven is populated by exceptionally good people. For that matter, so is Earth – but that is a huge problem.”
He wasn’t talking sense.
“Imagine, if you will, a place with seven hundred billion absolutely wonderful people who are all absolutely certain that they know what it is to be good and what it is to do good.”
“Sounds like a mess.”
“It is, which makes it very bureaucratic. To resolve anything requires endless meetings and to truly understand eternity, you have to sit through a meeting in heaven.”
“Sounds more like hell.”
“I don’t get it.”
“In hell, everyone is absolutely certain that they are right and therefore they believe that anyone who disagrees with them is either evil or wrong.”
“Oh, you mean like a Home Owner Association?”
“Ooooo, that is hell – so what is different in heaven?”
It took a while for the word to sink in.
“Oh, since everyone has their own idea of what is good and how to be good, they realize that everyone else does too, so they check their egos and respect each other. Therefore things like do unto others and the first shall be last and last shall be first – actually get a chance to work.”
“You betchya,” he said, “and there is only one sure way to get into heaven and stay there and for that matter, the only thing that can create heaven on earth is humility. It is knowing in your heart that the more you feel something is right, the greater the chances are that it is wrong – so you respect the beliefs and goodwill of others.”
“Pretty profound stuff,” I told him.
“It’s why I got sent back. All my career, I have been telling people what to do and what not to do, instead of focusing on humility. So the Big Guy cycled me through for training.”
I spotted my opportunity.
“Does that mean you are going to stop bugging me with your ‘don’t do this’ and ‘don’t do that’ and respect my decisions?”
“Not a chance.”